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Another "Hold My Beer" Imaging Attempt--M42

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#1 Phillip Creed

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

This is my latest foray into imaging.  It's been four long months, as weather here in NE Ohio simply hasn't been conducive to imaging, and my only imaging rig comes c/o of my local astronomy club's observatory.

It's not a fully apochromatic scope (notice the color bloat around the stars), but our 6" f/8 1980s-era AP triplet is good enough for what I'm trying to do.

I have an intervalometer, but I didn't use it, so I kept each sub at 30-sec.  Unlike previous attempts at such exposure times (where I kept the ISO high to compensate), I dropped the ISO to 400 in the hopes of preserving a large amount of dynamic range to bring out the fainter nebulosity without blowing out the Trapezium/core region.  I still ended up with a luminosity curve as contorted as a Tim Wakefield knuckleball on a blustery day, but I was able to preserve some of the "visual appearance" of the core region without totally blowing it out.

I'm still learning how to process.  This is where I know the game's won and lost to a great degree.  I only have DSS for stacking and GIMP 2.10 and Canon DPP for processing.

This is 34 light frames of 30-sec @ ISO 400, along with 20 dark frames, 20 bias frames and 10 flats.

Clear Skies,

Phil

Attached Thumbnails

  • M42-400ISO.jpg

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#2 elmiko

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 01:06 PM

Nice job Phillip. Really looks good I think your focus and color is great!



#3 scadvice

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:55 PM

Hi Phil,

 

Nice effort!

 

You might try playing around with Star Tools.

 

They give you a 30 day trial but you can't save your work during that period. It's fifty bucks to buy. 

 

Here is a 3 part video using DSS, Star Tools, and Gimp it you have not seen it. 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=J96e9HRbi-A

 

 

PixInsight is another and IMO better program.

 

I used Star Tools for a few months then tried out PixInsight and I'm now using it and Gimp. Very nice, a mildly complicated starting out and the cost is a little stiff at around $264... but worth it. The complication goes away with this nice set of twelve beginner videos made by Astro Dude. Its on you-tube and that got me going in a couple of marathon days. With PI they give you full unfettered use for 45 day including saving your images and converting the files and so forth. 

 

https://www.youtube....XJJqew6rQ&t=94s

 

 

 

I followed the video's and used M42 as my sample.

 

Here is a link to more comments I made about PI... for my final image see post #4.

 

https://www.cloudyni...nsight-and-wow/


Edited by scadvice, 11 January 2019 - 02:56 PM.


#4 Phillip Creed

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:53 PM

I actually had another stack of 28 exposures (also at 30-sec/each) at ISO-800.  I found it a bit too hard to get the Trapezium detail.

So what I did was I took the 34-exposure ISO-400 stack .TIF file and the 28-exposure ISO-800 .TIF file and...stacked them together.  I only messed around with the luminosity curve a bit, but it seems like it got more detail.  I wish I had more ISO-400 subs, though.

Clear Skies,

Phil

Attached Thumbnails

  • M42-400+800 FB.jpg



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